hey preacher!

Hey preacher!

Don’t let anybody tell you that you ought to detach yourself from the pain of the world, to get “perspective” on it.  Who told you that? You lean further in.  You let the hurt spill into the house.  Let it feed on you.  If there is to be any peace for you, it’s not from some rapture—you find the quiet center in the eye of the storm.  You don’t rise above it.  You go deeper into the black.  You transcend the moment you’re in not by escaping it, but going deeper in, still. 

Hey preacher!

You are here to speak for God and to speak for people who can't speak for themselves.  You speak for poetry and you speak for justice.  You think you get to keep your sanity?  You’re already crazy for doing this at all.  Accept it.

Hey preacher!

Do you really like playing the part of Rev. Lovejoy on The Simpsons?  The hell you do.  You think God somehow wanted you to sacrifice all your native wildness?  Do you hate yourself for denying the jazz in you, the blues in you, the shout in you, the rage in you?  Have you held the fire in for so long, that it’s hollowed you out?  Then do not hold it any longer.  You have a microphone, and you have the fire.  It’s still not too late, to burn it all down.

Hey preacher!

Be nice to the board, and listen to them.  But they don’t know anymore about preaching than you know about engineering or fixing cars, and they don’t get to tell you what to say.  Nobody owns the copyright to the fire in your belly.  Don’t cower.  Seriously. Don’t cower. 

Hey preacher!

You can weep like Jeremiah.  You can preach naked like Isaiah.  You can eat locusts and wild honey like John the Baptist.  You can talk trash like the Apostle Paul, and write in big letters.  You can get sawed in half or have your head served up on a platter.  You can climb Mt. Sinai and come back down.  But for the love of God, say something.  Say something real.  Call the fire down, preacher woman. Make me feel something, preacher man.

Hey preacher!

Go ahead and use those lovely quotes from those great theologians, but don’t hide your heart behind them.  Let them see you bleed a little, too. 

Hey preacher! 

From Herbert McCabe’s Love, Law and Language:   “The Christian minister is meant to be neither the pillar of an established quasi-feudal order, as conservative Christians are inclined to think, nor is he the democratic representative of a quasi-bourgeois society as the progressives seem to suggest; he is a revolutionary leader whose job is the subversion of the world through the preaching of the gospel.  He exercises authority amongst his people not as maintaining an established structure; he is the leader of his people in a movement towards a new community.  He is representative of his people not necessarily in the sense of being their elected spokesman; he may represent them in the way a revolutionary leader does, a way that is not obvious to them and only becomes clear when the revolution is achieved.”

Feel your blood run hot just then while you read that?  Yeah you did.  It felt good, didn’t it?  Because you were not put here to mind the store.  That’s not what you came here for, in the beginning.  You did not come to keep the peace.  You came, for the revolution. 

So go start it.

Hey preacher!

Be a fire and brimstone preacher of love.